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Peter de B. Harrington
177 moving to 291 Clippinger Laboratories
740.593.0148 (Fax)

Group Page

Professor Ph.D., University of North Carolina

Chemometrics Forensic Chemistry, Bioinformatics, Ion Mobility Spectrometry,
Mass Spectrometry, Proteomics, and Bacteria

Director of the Forensic Chemistry Master of Science Program
Director of the Center for Intelligent Chemical Instrumentation


The nature and significance of my scholarship is directed towards the development of intelligent chemical instruments. I am working with ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) and mass spectrometry (MS). These two methods are complementary and are distinguished by the pressure at which the ion measurement is made. If the ion velocities are measured in the gas phase at atmospheric pressure, the ion mobility is determined by an ion's volume-to-charge ratio. If the ions are measured under vacuum conditions (i.e., less than a millionth of atmospheric pressure) then their velocity is determined by the mass-to-charge ratio of the ion. Because ion mobility spectrometers do not require a vacuum system, they are more portable, less costly, more rugged, and amenable to miniaturization. Mass spectrometers have the advantages of greater resolving and informing power when compared to ion mobility spectrometers.

My group is interested in coupling chemometric methods with ion mobility and mass spectrometers, so that the chemometric methods are transparent to the user and so that the instrument exhibits intelligent behavior. An intelligent instrument furnishes user- or problem-defined information as opposed to data that must be interpreted by a scientist. My group is developing algorithms that perform real-time signal processing, modeling, and interpretation.

There are several application areas that interest us. We are developing methods for rapid identification of bacteria or biogenic compounds using IMS and MS. Our forensic projects involve improving the identification of drugs of abuse and explosives by IMS, as well as adapting IMS to new applications such as accelerant detection for arson cases. My group is studying and characterizing bacteria digests and whole-cell bacteria by matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI)-MS. The mass spectral data is used to profile the bacterial proteins. My group has been actively involved in biomarker detection in MS data since 1990. Presently, we are investigating early diagnosis of disease from MS data as well as using MALDI-MS as a rapid forensic analysis tool.

Publications Last Two Years

A.H. Bani Rashaid, P.B. Harrington, and G.P. Jackson*, Amino Acid Composition of Human Scalp Hair as a Biometric Classifier and Investigative Lead.  Analytical Methods  32:383  (2014) DOI: 10.1039/C4AY02588A.

N. Qi, Z. Zhang*, Y. Xiang, Y. Yang, and P.B. Harrington, Terahertz Time-domain Spectroscopy Combined with Fuzzy Rule-building Expert System and Fuzzy Optimal Associative Memory Applied to Early Diagnosis of Cervical Carcinoma.  Medical Oncology  32:383  (2014) DOI: 10.1007/s12032-014-0383-z.

K.J. Voorhees*, N.R. Saichek, K.R. Jensen, C.R. Cox, and P.B. Harrington, Comparison of Metal Oxide Catalysts for Pyrolytic MALDI-TOF MS Bacterial Identification.  Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis    (2014) DOI: 10.1016/j.jaap.2014.10.016.

Z. Wang, L. Lin, J.M. Harnly, P.B. Harrington, and P. Chen*, Computer-aided method for identification of major flavone/flavonol glycosides by high-performance liquid chromatography-diode array detection-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-DAD-MS/MS).  Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry  406  (2014) 7695-7704, DOI: 10.1007/s00216-014-8187-8.

D. Miao, J. Li, R. Yang*, J. Qu, L. Qu, and P.B. Harrington, Supersensitive electrochemical sensor for the fast determination of rutin in pharmaceuticals and biological samples based on poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride)-functionalized graphene.  Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry  732  (2014) 17-24 DOI: 10.1016/j.jelechem.2014.08.018.

M. Zhang and P.B. Harrington*, Simultaneous Quantification of Aroclor Mixtures in Soil Samples by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry with Solid Phase Microextraction using Partial Least-Squares Regression.  Chemosphere  118C  (2014) 187-193, DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2014.08.018.

Z. Wang, M. Zhang, and P.B. Harrington*, A Comparison of Three Algorithms for the Baseline Correction of Hyphenated Data Objects.  Analytical Chemistry  86:18  (2014) 9050-9057, DOI: 10.1021/ac501658k.

L. Wang, R. Yang*, J. Chen, J. Li, L. Qu*, and P.B. Harrington, Sensitive voltammetric sensor based on Isopropanol–Nafion–PSS–GR nanocomposite modified glassy carbon electrode for determination of Clenbuterol in pork.  Food Chemistry  164  (2014) 113-118, DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.04.052.

A.H. Bani Rashaid, G.P. Jackson, and, P.B Harrington*, Validation of a Method of Measuring the Amino Acid Composition of Proteins by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry.  Bio Analytical Techniques  1(1):002  (2014), http://www.enlivenarchive.org/bioanalytical-002.pdf

M. Zhang, G.P. Jackson, N.A. Kruse, J.R. Bowman, and P.B. Harrington*, Determination of Aroclor 1260 in Soil Samples by GC-MS with Solid-Phase Microextraction.  Journal of Separation Science  118  (2014) 187-193, DOI: 10.1002/jssc.201400102.

J.M. Harnly*, P.B. Harrington*, L.L. Botros, J.E. Jablonski, C. Chang, M.M. Bergana, P. Wehling , G. Downey, A.R. Potts , and J.C. Moore, Characterization of Near Infrared Spectral Variance in the Authentication of Skim and Nonfat Dry Milk Powder Collection Using ANOVA-PCA, Pooled-ANOVA, and Partial Least Squares Regression.  Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry  62:32  (2014) 8060-8067, DOI: 10.1021/jf5013727.

J. Wang, Z. Zhang*, Z. Zhang, Y. Xiang, and P.B. Harrington, THz-TDS combined with a fuzzy rule-building expert system applied to identification of official rhubarb samples.  Analytical Methods  6:19  (2014) 7695-7702, DOI: 10.1039/C4AY00555D.

P.B. Harrington*, Fuzzy Grid Encoded Independent Modeling for Class Analogies (FIMCA).  Analytical Chemistry  86:10  (2014) 4883-4892, DOI: 10.1021/ac5001543.

Li, D. Miao, R. Yang, L. Qu, and P.B. Harrington, Synthesis of poly(sodium 4-styrenesulfonate) functionalized graphene/cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) nanocomposite and its application in electrochemical oxidation of 2,4-dichlorophenol.  Electrochimica Acta  125  (2014) 1-8.

F. Yu, S. Yu, L. Yu, Y. Li, Y. Wu*, H. Zhang, L. Qu, P.B. Harrington, Determination of residual enrofloxacin in food samples by a sensitive method of chemiluminescence enzyme immunoassay.  Food Chemistry  149  (2014) 71-75 DOI: 10.1016 /j.foodchem.2013.10.024.

J.M. Harnly*, P. Chen, and P.B. Harrington, Probability of Identification: Adulteration of American Ginseng with Asian Ginseng.  Journal of AOAC International  96  (2013) 1258-1265 DOI: 10.5740/jaoacint.13-290.

M. Zhang and P.B. Harrington*, Automated Pipeline for Classifying Aroclors in Soil by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry using Modulo Compressed Two-way Data Objects.  Talanta  117  (2013) 483-491 DOI: 10.1016/j.talanta.2013.09.050.

H. Zhang, Y. Wu*, F. Yu, S. Yu, H. Zhang, L. Qu, P.B. Harrington, Study on the reaction mechanism and the static injection chemiluminescence method for detection of acetaminophen.  Luminescence  28:6  (2013) 905-909 DOI: 10.1002/bio.2455.

Z. Wang and P.B. Harrington*, Feature Selection from Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry Data Using a Bootstrapped Fuzzy Rule-Building Expert System.  Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry  405  (2013) 9219-9234, DOI: 10.1007/s00216-013-7327-x.

Jianjun Li, Xiao Li, Ran Yang*, Lingbo Qu, P.B. Harrington, A sensitive electrochemical chlorophenol sensor based on nanocomposite of ZnSe quantum dots and cetyltrimethylammonium bromide.  Analytica Chimica Acta  804  (2013) 76-83, DOI: 10.1016/j.aca.2013.09.049.

L. Botros, J.E. Jablonski , C. Chang , M.M. Bergana , P. Wehling , J.M. Harnly, G. Downey, P.B. Harrington, A.R. Potts , and J.C. Moore, Exploring Authentic Skim and Nonfat Dry Milk Powder Variance for the Development of Nontargeted Adulterant Detection Methods Using NIR Spectroscopy and Chemometrics.  Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry  61:41  (2013) 9810-9818, DOI: 10.1021/jf4023433.

G. Wang, M. Ma, Z. Zhang*, Y. Xiang, and P.B. Harrington, A novel DPSO–SVM system for variable interval selection of endometrial tissue sections by near infrared spectroscopy.  Talanta  112  (2013) 136-142, DOI: 10.1016/j.talanta.2013.03.016.

Z. Wang, P. Chen, L. Yu, and P.B. Harrington*, Authentication of Organically and Conventionally Grown Basil by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry Chemical Profiles.  Analytical Chemistry  85:5  (2013) 2945-2953, DOI: 10.1021/ac303445v.

*Corresponding Author